The National Deadbeat Dad Law

A National Deadbeat Dad List was created in 1992 when the Child Support Recovery Act (CSRA) gave state courts the power to collect child support payments from parents who have racked up misdemeanor-level penalties. The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998 expanded this power to make parents who try escape a jurisdiction to avoid payments and other child-support related offenses susceptible to felony charges and being placed on the Deadbeat Dad List.

The Punishment Act requires that the negligent parent lives in a different state from his or her child. An investigation is made to determine if the delinquent parent uses multiple employment locations to avoid reporting some of their income when he or she does business in more than one state or country. Once a parent reaches the misdemeanor amounts owed and they are suspected of doing this, he or she is automatically on the list.

The acts require proof that the parent was able to pay child support but willfully choose not to do so.

The list was created with the intent to prevent parents from evading prosecution. Deadbeat fathers and mothers who are negligent with payments for a year, or who have accumulated more than $5,000 in debt, are charged with misdemeanors. Parents who owe more than $10,000 or have evaded payment for more than two years are charged with felonies and placed on the Deadbeat Dad List.

The Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) in the state of residence manages Child support, including disputes, when the parent and child live in the same state. When deadbeat is charged with a felony and added to the Deadbeat List, he or she is beyond the CSEA’s jurisdiction.

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